Lung function in workers exposed to soft paper dust

B. Jarvholm, K. Thoren, I. Brolin, J. Ericsson, U. Morgan, Ulf Tylen, B. Bake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In a cross-sectional study, 13 nonsmoking men with heavy exposure to paper dust were compared with 14 unexposed men, mainly office workers, employed at the same paper mill. They were studied using questionnaires, physical examinations, pulmonary function studies, and chest radiography. Among those exposed there was an increased lung elastic recoil pressure (P(el)) compared with controls which was significant (p < 0.05) at the maximal level of total lung capacity (100% TLC). Furthermore, among the exposed workers there was also a significantly (p < 0.05) decreased residual volume (RV). Two of the exposed men underwent lung biopsies, one of which showed fibrotic alveolar walls. Among the exposed there was also a significant (p < 0.05) predominance of symptoms from the lower respiratory tract. We suggest that the observed pulmonary function impairment taken together with the histological examination of the lung biopsies are signs of a nonspecific reaction to high levels of paper dust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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